European Private Law: A Plea for a Spontaneous Legal Order
Jan M. Smits
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI); University of Helsinki - Center of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity
April 1, 2006
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND LAW, Deirdre M. Curtin, Jan M. Smits et al, Antwerpen-Oxford, pp. 55-107, 2006
Maastricht University Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2006-03
This contribution focuses on European integration through private law. After a sketch of the existing European acquis in the field of the law of contract, tort and property, the question is discussed whether there is a need for harmonisation in view of the goals the European Union set itself. Subsequently, the question of how to design a future European private law is answered. In the field of contract law, the European Commission now follows a two-track policy: it intends to draft a 'Common Frame of Reference' ('CFR') as well as furthering the debate on the possibility of an optional code. It is debated what the contents of these two instruments should be and how they should be created, but also the more fundamental question as to whether they will really contribute to the solving of the present problems with the European acquis is touched upon. Finally, the influence of 'Europe' on national private law is looked at from a critical perspective. The author adopts the view that uniform private law should come about in a Hayekian way of a spontaneous legal order.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: European integration, contract law, spontaneous order
JEL Classification: K12, K00Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 24, 2006 ; Last revised: April 14, 2011
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